Third Party & Independents Archives

Overboard Criticism?

It didn’t take long for Matt Lauer of The Today Show to find something he didn’t like in Ann Coulter’s new tome released yesterday, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. On the four widows who lost their husbands on 9/11 and became a politically active group, Coulter says she’s “never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

Routers has the story:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Conservative author Ann Coulter sparked a storm on Wednesday after describing a group of September 11 widows who backed the Democratic Party as millionaire "witches" reveling in their status as celebrities.

"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," published on Tuesday, referring to four women who headed a campaign that resulted in the creation of the September 11 Commission that investigated the hijacked plane attacks.

Coulter wrote that the women were millionaires as a result of compensation settlements and were "reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis."

A spokeswoman for publisher Crown Forum said it had set a first print run of 1 million copies of "Godless" and there were 1.5 million copies of Coulter's previous four books in print.

The four women, Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, declined to discuss the book in detail but issued a statement saying they had been slandered.

"There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again," said the statement signed by the four, along with a fifth woman, Monica Gabrielle.

The four women, who live in or around East Brunswick, New Jersey, became friends after September 11 and formed a group that agitated for the investigation. "Our only motivation ever was to make our nation safer," they said.

Coulter, whose books include the bestseller "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," argues in the new book the women she dubs "the Witches of East Brunswick" wanted to blame
President George W. Bush for not preventing the attacks.

She criticized them for making a campaign advertisement for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry in 2004, and added: "By the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."

Asked by Reuters why she made such personal comments, Coulter said by e-mail, "I am tired of victims being used as billboards for untenable liberal political beliefs."

"A lot of Americans have been seething over the inanities of these professional victims for some time," she added.

Having read the book in its entirety I can say her comments were part of a larger argument that isn't getting much attention from her critics. But has she damaged her credibility with her ruthlessness? I don't think it's possible to "enjoy" the death of a loved one regardless of the settlement. And to suggest they look to other avenues such as Playboy for work when their political ambitions dry up is somewhat cruel.

But we can't just give everything the 9/11 widows do a free pass just because they're widows and have endured tragedy. That much of Coulter's primary argument is spot-on. We were all the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

These widows, who've dubbed themselves the "Jersey Girls," quickly established camp with the anti-war company. They've blamed President Bush for their husbands' deaths to the literal extreme, and endorsed John Kerry for president in 2004. They tell us they were just looking for "answers," but it wasn't that innocent.

These women wanted to embarrass the president. One said, "I watched my husband murdered live on TV...At any point in time the casualties could have been lessened, and it seems to me there wasn't even an attempt made."

Another placed all the blame on the president: "Three thousand people were murdered on George Bush's watch."

At this point we are free to criticize the Jersey Girls if so inclined, because they are no longer just grieving women mourning the deaths of their husbands. But Coulter goes way beyond legitimate criticism and is drawing negative attention to what is otherwise a great point. Sure enough, she's seen as "cruel" for simply taking the widows to task and she exposes that in her book in great detail. Unfortunately the media is only focusing on those acidic comments.

And if you think that's bad, just wait until someone in the media finds the chapter on public-school education!

Posted by Scottie at June 7, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #155411

Hmmmm…. Why would 4 widows blame the President for 9/11?

I mean… its not as if George W. Bush got a report entitled “Al Queda Determined to Attack Inside United States”. Its not as if the CIA didn’t know about 747’s being planned to crash into buildings YEARS before 9/11.

Nope. I can’t think a single reason why 4 widows would think that.

Also… I was not aware you were a victim of 9/11, Scottie. My condolances to the Family Members you lost that day. What plane were they on again?

Posted by: Aldous at June 8, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #155414

Ann Coulter, the Eva Braun of the modern wrong wing movement, has a history of histrionic accusations that go way beyond what is reasonable. SHe accused these four WIDOWS of “enjoying their husbands’ deaths”.

This is despicable, and so is anyone who defends such behavior.

It show just how low the wrong is is willing to go.

Posted by: ElliotBay at June 8, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #155435

It is fine to defend the broader scope of Coulters argument; that we shouldn’t “give victims a free pass” but Coulter attacks women who have valid issues with our government.

Coulter is out of line not widows of homicide victims.

Posted by: tina at June 8, 2006 3:57 AM
Comment #155437

Scottie, “Routers”?
Is that a mix of Ann Coulter and Reuters???

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 8, 2006 5:05 AM
Comment #155440

Yep, seems she just ruined any of her arguments by being acid.

Hint to Coulter: acid is corrosive, don’t throw it over anything you value, valuable (or not) ideas included.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 8, 2006 5:11 AM
Comment #155444

Well she IS a Republican. Republicans need hate to live. So it figures she would act like that.

Posted by: Aldous at June 8, 2006 5:23 AM
Comment #155445
We were all the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Hum, that’s a very debatable rethoric I see used too often when uniting people behind the WOT is the agenda.

While I personally felt sadness and shared the 9/11 victims pain, I’ve never considered been a victim myself. I didn’t suffer more than *just* bad or sad feelings, and I’ve lost no relatives that day.

As the very vast majority of americans didn’t lost any relatives in 9/11 too. Nor were they wounded.
True, they all were sad (and some fearfull), as most of the world was too. Doesn’t make them “victims”. Deeply concerned by the event, true. But victim, no.

Saying that is not trying to reduce the 9/11 tragedy importance for every american. But as 9/11 victims can’t have a blank license to critize just because they’re victims, you can’t include yourself in the victims side, because you’re not.

Otherwise, every human alive could claim he’s also an terrorist attack, whichever, victim *and* a Tchernobil victim *and* an holocaust victim *and* a hiroshima victim *and* a WWI victim *and* an Inquisition victim *and* so on…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 8, 2006 5:32 AM
Comment #155446
While I personally felt sadness and shared the 9/11 victims pain

To make my point clear: I’ve shared mentally the pain.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 8, 2006 5:34 AM
Comment #155454

Scottie, she is over the top. The wives criticism is of a President who has failed to implement the full set of recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and has going on 5 years after 9/11 still REFUSED to secure our borders from terrorist entry. It’s NOT top secret that we have terrorist cells in America today. What is top secret is how recently they came to be here, if that is known at all. With wide open borders for cheap labor for Business folks, security took a back seat and that is the wives primary and still relevant criticism of Bush today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 8, 2006 5:57 AM
Comment #155521

These widows have the right to criticize their government. That right comes from being Americans. There loss qualifies them for nothing more.

My uncle was killed in a boating accident. That does not make my aunt an expert on oceans and trade routes or even on watercraft.

Ann Coulter was over the top, but her point was a good one.

Posted by: Jack at June 8, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #155534


“Well she IS a Republican. Republicans need hate to live. So it figures she would act like that.”

Do I detect hate here?

Does Aldous need hate to live?

I think that just blew ALL the credibility out of your arguement.


“Another placed all the blame on the president: “Three thousand people were murdered on George Bush’s watch.”

Do you think their vitriol would be less if that statement read…

“Another placed all the blame on the president: “Three thousand people were murdered on John Kerry’s watch.”

You betcha.

People of the left would be falling all over themselves making excuses…and who then would be accused of using “talking points”?

As far as Ann Coulter goes…it’s easy to be unforgiving and “hard line” (both Dems and Reps). It only gets hard when you stop.

Posted by: Jim T at June 8, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #155551

Scottie and Jack,

(Fact) Bush has done nothing to increase the security of the United States.
(Fact) Bush has ignored much of what was recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
The Jersey Girls have valid points.
“These women wanted to embarrass the president.”
He’s already covered that 10 fold.
Swift-boating widows who disagree with her for the sake of selling books is O.K. with you?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 8, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #155575

“But we can’t just give everything the 9/11 widows do a free pass just because they’re widows and have endured tragedy. That much of Coulter’s primary argument is spot-on.”

What have the Jersey Girls done, exactly, that they shouldn’t get a free pass for? I want a full listing of these supposed crimes they’ve committed. But before I hear them from you, let’s get one thing straight: being critical of the presidents actions or inactions isn’t a crime when and if it contributed to do with the death of your loved ones.

“We were all the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”

No one was a victim to the degree that those families were, and still are to this very day. If you didn’t lose someone personally, you are not directly a victim and cannot claim to be on equal footing with people whose whole lives were changed forever that day.

I posted this in the red column a few minutes ago, but since it belongs here too, I’m reposting it:

The Women that the Nutcase Whore Ann Coulter is calling “witches” are REPUBLICANS. They just don’t like BUSH and his administration because their incompetence. They wanted the facts — and as we all know, facts are something that people like Bush and Coulter never use. Neocons stand firmly against the facts in favor of whatever bullshit nonsense they can scrape together to back up all their pre-conceived notions.
Without those four “witches” there would never have been a 9/11 Commission. They were the ones who kept the heat on Congress and demanded that an independent commission be formed to look into the circumstances of the terrorist attack which killed their loved ones.
If you’ll remember, Bush fought having an independent investigation into 9/11. He wanted it confined to Congress because he claimed it dealt with “sensitive information” that could reveal “sources and methods of intelligence.” But he came under so much fire from many of the families for saying that that he finally had to act like he supported the idea. Still, he gave them a very short deadline and the smallest funding level possible. He also insisted that he be allowed to appoint the commissions chairman. His choice was Henry Kissinger. More heat from the families on Congress eventually saw Kissinger resign.
After that, Bush and Cheney blocked the release of a lot of information that the commission needed, and they refused to give interviews. Only when threatened with a supoena did they finally agree to them, but then, not without conditions. You remember those conditions don’t you?
They had to testify together. They would not be required to take an oath before their testimony. It could not be recorded or transcribed. The only record could be notes taken down by hand. And these notes would never be made public.

The 9/11 commission exposed the Bush administrations total and complete incompetence. Anything or anyone who makes them look bad, or exposes that truth is fair game for an attack. Insane, hatefilled, rightwing slut Ann Coulter’s entire career is based on attacking on the Neocons behalf. And it doesn’t matter if someone is a Republican like each and every one of the Jersey Girls are — in her book (or his, if you really look at Ann’s adams apple bobbing up and down just between her thin, smirking lips, and the edge of her perpetual cocktail dress uniform) you are a worthless “Libbbruhlll.”

Posted by: Adrienne at June 8, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #155610

Well said.
You do realize that reality is not a priority with the people who still support this administration. Their blind attack-dog loyalty is sad and blocks any real discussion as to just how bad this President really is.
If they call names and yell louder(see.OReilly, Rush, Coulter)they’re right and the rest of the world is wrong.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 8, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #155657

Ann Coulter had a point to make, but went way too far in making it. I don’t think Breitweiser etc should be treated without respect, as Coulter did. Neither should they be given a free pass for any opinions they have to offer.

They lost family in the Trade Centers. That makes their experience and opinions a bit more personal than the opinions of those of us who didn’t lose family. It doesn’t necessarily make their opinions correct…just more personal.

There are others who lost family in the Trade Centers who disagree with the opinions of Breitweiser etc. These people’s opinions are just as salient, and should be treated with the same respect and dignity as those of Breitweiser etc.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at June 8, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #155665

These people’s opinions are just as salient, and should be treated with the same respect and dignity as those of Breitweiser etc.

I agree jbg, let’s write a book about how their support for the war is selfish and misguided, lets print a million copies, and make money off our incindeary remarks about their million dollar awards.

defense of this garbage is shamefull.

Posted by: areyouserious? at June 8, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #155689

Ann Coulter’s is a wart on the ass of humanity… end of story. She has no point… no argument, just vitrol and acidic stupidy.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #155722


follow this link to send an email to your Congress people on the “Net Neutrality” vote!

Posted by: Craig Dawson at June 8, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #155730

Ann is as free to speak her mind as anyone else. I am proud of her taking on these women who hide behind their victimhood to bash our country. Shame is due on them and Cindy Sheehan.

Ann is attacked but her ideas are not. I like that.

Posted by: Ann's Lover at June 8, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #155736

I see that Scottie hasn’t been able to produce a list of the Jersey Girls crimes. So I guess their only crime was in making the president look bad, and in not going along with the Neocon talking points.

Ann’s Lover:
“Ann is attacked but her ideas are not.”

I attacked both Ann and her ideas. In my opinion she is a Nazi, and all of her ideas are fascistic and violent and hateful.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 8, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #155749

And Ann claims the left are godless……I see she is pretty unChristian. I kinda doubt the Jesus most of us know and love would support her side of the argument!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: qat at June 8, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #155753

I can’t understand how any one would want to even considered being associated with Ann Coulter. Because of her, my dog now wants a sex change.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #155759

I can’t understand how any one would want to even considered being associated with Ann Coulter. Because of her, my dog now wants a sex change.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #155808

Ann Coulter, the bitch goddess of the wrong wing, called four widows “witches and harpies”, and accused them of “enjoying their husbands’ deaths.” By ANY stretch of the imagination, such odious behavior is breathtaking in its arrogance.

Why would Coulter say such evil things?

Simple. She wants to sell books. She’s being deliberately inflammatory in order to make a profit. Coulter is, in fact, vilifying four widows while she herself is attempting to profit from their grief.

Coulter’s despicable behavior, and the surprising amount of support she has received here at Watchblog proves one thing: there is no lower limit to how far the wrong wing will stoop

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 8, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #155845

Ann is a rcist pig.

Posted by: Dan at June 8, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #155854

Coulter is easily dismissed for what she is, a divisive, coarse, extreamist. Citing her work in anything other than a humor review lends it more creadence than it deserves. If one is to take her seriously, then you must also lend the same creadence to those other paragons of reasoned discourse M. Moore and A. Franken.
At a time when any public discent from official policy is tantamount to open treason and stated agreement with the administration equates to slavish idiocy, do we really need any more gasoline thrown on the conflagration of division that this country is enduring??????

Posted by: Ted at June 8, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #155978

Though I may disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Where did these people go?

They certainly aren’t here.

Posted by: Jim T at June 9, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #156131

Watchblog Editors;
Why won’t you allow me editorial comment?

Posted by: jblym at June 9, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #156211

Coulter has been dropped from virtually every “journalistic” job she has ever had for precisely the same reason. She invites this criticism, she thrives on it.

She was dropped by The National Review Online for her choice of words.
USA Today, the same reason.

She is a bomb thrower, that enjoys, in her own words, “stirring the pot”, and she doesn’t seem to care if the pot explodes.

What I don’t understand is that some people find her entertaining. I suppose the same people might enjoy Joan Rivers, but I just don’t see it.

IMHO, her 15 minutes are up.

Posted by: Rocky at June 10, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #156239

Oh Ann Coulter, darling of the right, is there a case to be made that the republicans have “Enjoyed” 9-11 too much??? I’ve never seen so many people enjoy death and war so much as do the neocons—how’s that? Bloodthirsy immoral republicans basking in the limelight of their own fraud—oh yeah I’m so getting a book deal.

The reason she criticized those four widows is because after 9-11 they had the gaul to be “Liberal”—I know your shocked, stunned…traitors to the power!!!!
And then they did something so bad to our nation—they asked what happened the day their husbands were killed. How dare they?!!!! Double traitors!!! They deserve our wrath all of them!!!!! Who do they think they are? Americans asking for governmental answers ‘er sumthin’?!!!

Ann Coulter is such and ass-hole.

(and yes she does have an adam’s apple)

Posted by: Novenge at June 10, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #156462


No, I don’t remember that scene.

However, I do remember that scene in “2001: A Space Oddysee(sp)”.

Posted by: Jim T at June 11, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #157081

Obviously, these widows did not enjoy their husbands deaths. But they aren’t shying away from the ensuing publicity and wealth that came as a result, are they? Not hardly. They also CHOSE to enter the political arena. They are not foreign policy experts, and no matter how many of their relatives are killed by terrorists, they never will be. So be a good grieving widow, and keep your foreign policy opinions to yourself. If I need advice on my laundry, I’ll call you.

As for Ann, socialists just hate being skewered by the truth. It’s fun to watch someone on the right who won’t sit there and explain why they are “compassionate” and not a racist, and instead gives no quarter and attacks, always attacks. Ann has stones, most right wing politicians don’t, and it’s unsettling for socialists, and milquetoast Republicans. I like that.

Posted by: David C. at June 13, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #157082

Aldous, in your opening post you forgot to mention that they were actually CIA missles, not planes, and all the Joos were warned not to come to work that day. Come on Aldous, the Daily Kos is watching! Get your head in the game ;^)

Posted by: David C. at June 13, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #157106
They are not foreign policy experts, and no matter how many of their relatives are killed by terrorists, they never will be.

David C, one could wonder if it’s cant apply to the White House as well…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 13, 2006 6:27 AM
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